Harrison County

How to find discounted hotel rooms during black spring break. They aren’t on websites.

Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi will expand with an amusement park

Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi opened in 2016 after converting the old Casino Magic building in east Biloxi. In June 2018, they announced an expansion to the west with an amusement park that will feature a giant Ferris wheel and another hotel.
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Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi opened in 2016 after converting the old Casino Magic building in east Biloxi. In June 2018, they announced an expansion to the west with an amusement park that will feature a giant Ferris wheel and another hotel.

Spring breakers who haven’t yet booked a hotel room for this weekend still have time and a choice of locations.

“There are a lot available,” said Linda Hornsby, executive director of the Mississippi Hotel & Lodging Association, with rooms open on the beach and lower price hotels along the interstate.

“Some hotels have dropped their rates,” she said.

Black spring break filled the hotel rooms in South Mississippi in 2017 and it looked like it would be a repeat in 2018.

“Going into the weekend, the Mississippi Lodging Association reported a 90 percent occupancy rate at the Coast’s 15,400 hotel rooms,” according to a 2018 report on the City of Biloxi website, ”but by mid-afternoon Friday as many as 3,000 rooms became available with cancellations, which the association attributed to troubling weather reports exacerbated by a number of declined credit cards.”

This year many hotels are processing credit card payments in advance, Hornsby said. If they wait until the last minute to run a credit card and it is declined, she said they don’t have a lot of time to resell the rooms.

Hotel owners also have pulled their available rooms from online sites, she said, as they do during New Year’s Eve and other big events, especially when they fall on weekends.

It’s highly possible spring breakers don’t know there are rooms available, she said. People can call the lodging association’s reservation office at 888-388-1006 to find available rooms and rates.

Burns suggests spring breakers also can call the direct number of a hotel and ask to speak to the front desk to book a room. Each hotel has its own policy when credit cards are processed and he said people need to know that and about the cancellation policy.

“They have to be proactive and ask hotels what are their policies,” he said.

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